Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Dear Father Christmas

I thought I'd copy my girls this year and write a list for Father Christmas. Every angler out there would like something that he or she hasn't got, and if you've been good enough this year (like me ?) then you never know - Father Christmas and his herd of magical flying reindeer (honestly, there were never any drugs involved in that tradition) might just leave you a bulging stocking at the foot of your bed come Christmas morning. Quite how he gets down our chimney with the amount of wood we burn I am not entirely sure, but here's my own Christmas list, along with a few wishes, hopes and dreams that I hope he could have a go at making come true. Dear Father Christmas, I have been pretty good this year, so please could I have :

(I found this shot from the east coast of Canada a few years back - pretty Christmassy eh ?)

A Graphiteleader Super Argento lure fishing rod. I just want to sit and stroke it.

A million yard spool of 20lb Varivas Max Power PE 8-strand braid, but please Father Christmas could you ask Varivas to make this exact line in a bright yellow colour as well.

The 5-piece Graphiteleader Argento Compatto 8'6'' 6-28g Sea Bass travel rod, because it's awesome and it fits in any bag I am likely to be travelling with - all I need to go with it is for Plymouth airport to reopen and then start daily flights to Waterford in Ireland. Sorted.

An Apia Foojin'AD Flow Hunt 89ML lure rod (8'9'', max lure 34g) - holy frigging cow is all I will say for the moment.

A pair of Van Staal titanium fishing pliers, because they are the best.

A Shimano Exsence C3000m spinning reel. I know nothing about it, but it looks rather tasty and I love the shape of the handle. Sad I know...........

A Daiwa Saltiga Mag Sealed 3500 spinning reel, and why not the 4000 model as well while you're at it. Buy one get one free ? Nick had the 3500 out in France the other day and it felt like a serious machine.

A few Jumprize Rowdy 130F lures, because they do look rather nice, as indeed does the new 95S size. Hell, how about all the different colours in a gift set wrapped up with a big bow and placed under the Christmas tree which you will be glad to know I managed to put up this year without losing my temper. "Bit to the right, no, hang on, bit to the left, wait, it's still leaning" - any of you get those helpful sort of comments from your loved one ??!!

A selection of the new IMA Sasuke 130 lures, because they look rather nice as well. Bet they're going to fly........

A pair of the just been released Simms G4 waders, and why not throw in a bunch of Simms fleeces etc. for a bit of a treat. I do like some of the Simms gear, but I am nowhere near as bad as a certain friend of mine who I note has even got himself a Simms clock............

And Dear Father Christmas, if you can, please could you see to it that these wishes come true for me in 2013 :

Europe as a whole to implement tough, long-term measures to actually protect "our" seas and "our" fish so that successive generations actually have some decent numbers of fish left to catch in the future. As anglers we would of course like more and bigger fish to catch, and if there were then we would end up spending more and more money on our hobby because the fishing is so good, and therefore it becomes a logical circle whereby it's very much worth looking after our seas properly because of the value to the economy - and because we are human beings and we should damn well be looking after "our" oceans anyway.

Get IMA lures to make a 20g 130mm version of the IMA Salt Skimmer, and while you're at it, ask IMA to get on with making some of their regular Salt Skimmers. Pretty, pretty please..........

Move Ireland to Cornwall, and while you're at it, move the Isles of Scilly to about five miles off the coast off south east Cornwall as well please.

Ask OSP to make a solid white 6'' DoLive Stick, and at the same time drop the price of them.

Destroy all the Somali pirates so that the remote Seychelles atolls of Cosmoledo, Astove and Providence can be opened up to anglers again.

Ask a few of the bigger UK tackle companies to please start bringing in some of their fishing gear that we know is out there in Japan, the US etc.

We would very much like a proper spring and summer in 2013.

Get lure companies to sell their lures with barbless treble hooks on them. Barbless hooks don't lose fish, end of story.

Ask Megabass to put some decent trebles on their Zonk Gatarides, and while you're at it, ask Tackle House to put some decent trebles on the large size Feed Shallows as well.

Give a damn good thrashing to the minority of anglers who get involved in this ridiculous, childish bickering I see online sometimes such as my fishing rod is longer/shorter than yours so it has to be better (honestly, who really gives a stuff ? Use what you like and leave it at that, surely), or everything written about fishing tackle is all some big conspiracy to sell fishing gear (oh hang, it is, of course, didn't you realise that ?), or what some anglers spend time so kindly posting up to help people out is rubbish because somebody else has done it before and the people criticising are such serious experts that it's all beneath them anyway - when the main issue is that so many anglers out there are continually on the hunt for help and information to help them catch more fish (like me) - which at the end of the day is what so much of it is about. Fishing is full of some truly wonderful people, but like in real life of course there are always going to be elements of jealously, cynicism and plain, simple unpleasantness - which I despise. Live and let live and celebrate the fact that we all do things differently instead of being terrified of change.

There were murmurs of a chartreuse back/white body Fiiish Black Minnow at the T&G show. Pretty please.........

Ask the Greek metal band Rotting Christ to hurry up with releasing their new album due in March - any chance we could have it earlier ? And while you're at it Father Christmas, what's going on with the next Immortal album ? Oh, and although Slayer will always be mighty, if we were completely honest they have not released a seriously killer album since "Seasons in the Abyss" - how about they rectify this in 2013 ? Please, please may the reformed Arcturus release a complete monster of a new album next year to rival their frighteningly awesome "The Sham Mirrors". Get Metallica to admit that everything they have written after ".....And Justice for All" is pants and then demand that they go out on tour and play only from those early albums until they can release a decent record again.

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